_ Well, I was planning a good, detailed post on recovery and it happens to be perfect timing; I am taking a solid week off! After only a few days off at most for the many months now, and the Superfit Games two weekends again, AND, the Outlaw Training Camp this past weekend… yeah, I am in some serious need for a break! So, after feeling like I got every inch of my body sledge hammered, I am focusing on taking today through Friday (or maybe Sunday…) completely off from serious training. So what will I be doing? Here’s what I’ll be doing:
I am dedicated to getting at least 7 hours of sleep a day, at LEAST! If I don’t get it during the night, I will nap during the day. The goal is to really let my body understand the importance of sleep and not only take advantage of it, but start to generate the habit of getting adequate sleep. If I have to sit here and convince any of you that sleep is really important, you’re an idiot, enough said. Sleep is needed so badly, and yet so many of us neglect it and don’t take it seriously. If you are serious about health and fitness, you better be serious about sleep. Lack of sleep will always catch up to you sooner or later, and you’ll begin to feel the effects of it in slow gains, stress, weight gain (thanks to the wonderfulness that is cortisol) and on, and on. Get your sleep!
Oh, this is a good one. Especially after the hundreds upon hundreds of calories I swam in last night (burgers, sweet potato fries, chili, beer, cookies and too many Courage Bars!). Granted, that was after burning off probably thousands upon thousands of calories at the Outlaw Training Camp, so, it was well deserved. But, for the week I am focusing on three things: eating enough, eating the right things, forming better habits. Basing my plan loosely off the plan I followed when I moved back East from California, I will be making sure my physical body is fueled as perfectly as possible. A vague sketch of it: 4-6 meals, tons of protein, TONS of veggies, a good deal of fats, basically zero sugar, and the only complex carb getting through will be sweet potatoes! I’m not going to get crazy obsessive with all of this, just clean it all up as the Open approaches. The extra time I’ll have this week will be perfect to get my nutrition dialed in.
I’ll be practicing a handful of Kelly Starrett’s “Mobility WOD’s” each and every day. These will be combined with a good bit of foam rolling and stretching to make sure my recovering muscles get their fair share of love. Honestly, besides my crappy ability to do upper-body body weight stuff, my mobility issues are the biggest holding me back. It’s so super important to be mobile people, and especially if you’re an extremely active person. The body very quickly adapts to poor posture and crap habits and making sure your joints understand good ranges of motion, and your muscles can stay flexible. My worst areas are the shoulders and hips. Yep, pretty big areas, but I am working on them!
Here is the new one I have recently added to the mix. I have always viewed message as a sort of high-brow, luxury, and really, I still sort of do. But if you are actually serious about your overall well-being, I think you should find a way to get one in on a somewhat regular basis. My girlfriend found me a great guy who works with athletes and I am now committed to getting work in with him at the very least once a week. Yep, that is how important serious recovery is! Check out Terrel Hale’s site HERE if you are in the greater DC area and want to get some legit work done.
Another large aspect of my recovery is in the hands of 2XU. A lot of CrossFitters and other athletes wear compression gear as a fashion statement, which as all well and cool (actually, no it's not, it's kind of stupid if you want my honest opinion), I use the best compression as a tool to get freaking better. this stuff is about as close to medical grade compression as one can get and it legitimately works. I have become a HUGE believer in this product and with all the other additions to my recovery process am pretty sure I have all the best tools in my arsenal!
It doesn’t matter how hard I go; in the end, its how my body reacts to the stresses and strains that matters. And food, sleep, mobility, message and so on are the things that allow my body to really soak up all the hard work and make it pay off.
The other thong Terrel has helped me out with is some good stretches to really focus on, and to really look into doing ice baths on a more regular basis. I now have a massive trashcan in the gym that I can fill up with water and a couple large bags of ice, and chill (pun intended) for a while. My buddy Blair Morrison (yep, the CrossFit legend himself) wrote some great things on the benefits of cold HERE.
Oh, and one more thing. If you haven't already, please take a moment and vote for me for Best Personal Trainer in DC. And pass the link along to friends and family! I will entertain you all with something wacky if I win!
_Welp, that’s it for me here. I’m off to foam roll and lacrosse ball the crap out of my body before getting in bed for some good sleep!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
These past couple weeks for me have proved one major thing for me: approach things with the right frame of mind and GREAT things happen! I have taken so many things off my plate, and this has allowed me to get so much more done with the most important things. I have officially opened my temporary gym space, my training gains have been taking off, my recovery and mobility is getting greater and i have been feeling all around in much better spirits than in a while!
So how has this happened? Well, it took me bearing down a little bit and telling myself what was important. Here’s the thought process that I went through:
I made a set time to get myself completely alone (normally I would head out to the woods for this, but this time, I just sat on my couch). Then I asked the question: What do you want?
I wanted to do everything in my power to make it to the CrossFit Games in 2012, I wanted to open a gym, and I wanted to get my Courage Bars officially up for sale! That’s it. So how would I be able to stick with these basic, “simple” goals? Well, by taking all the other ones I had (and trust me, I had a LOT), making sure they were all written down, and putting them off in a folder somewhere for another time. Then, to help my crazy, spastic brain out, if another idea came to me (at least one a day, seriously….) I would quickly write it down and stock it in the “idea and future plans” folder. Now, all of my energy would either be directed directly towards the three things I want the most right now, or, into learning how to chill out. So, napping, resting, stretching, deep breathing, walking around and spacing out are all things I am very quickly teaching myself are GOOD things to do.
The brutal truth of it all is as follows: I did all that stuff all the time! I mean seriously people, how much time to you truly spend each day doing nothing productive? All I have been focusing on is allowing those times to genuinely be relaxing for me. If I am going to zone out in from of the computer for an hour or two, or in front of the TV, it will be because that is exactly the plan. I won’t stress about it, I won’t panic about “all this other stuff I have to get done”, I’ll allow myself to do the things I need to do to feel happy and healthy. This is incredibly relaxing and peaceful, seriously; it’s awesome. And, interestingly enough, it is literally what all those self-help advice givers are all about. Be honest with yourself about the things you do, and all of a sudden you release most of your stress.
The main change for me was learning how to convince myself that doing nothing wasn’t a waist of time. See, I would sit with y computer, doing “work”, watching TV shows on Hulu for like 4 hours. The fact of the matter is, I really wasn’t getting all that much work done. So, rather than create all this made up stress, and if I really did spend a good deal of each day just chilling out, reading or watching TV programs, I might as well enjoy the rest time to the fullest. All I can say is that my stress has been going away. It feels great. And my gains in the gym are finding their way WAY back up!
So, if you’re planning on shilling out, CHILL OUT. Take your relaxation just as seriously as your work and your work will be that much better. Give it a shot.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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